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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

9 Ways to Stop Complicating Life and Start Living

9 Ways to Stop Complicating Life and Start Living

Yes, we’ve all been there—those times when life seems so incredibly complicated that we have no idea what we should be doing next. These are the moments where you need to pause, take a breath, and relax. Because the truth is, we often overcomplicate things. We prevent ourselves from clearly visualizing the problem because we panic.

In this article, I am going to walk you through some of the ways that you can stop complicating life and begin truly living.

Sounds pretty awesome right? Let’s get right into it!

1. You’re a Work in Progress

Look, you’re a work in progress, and you likely always will be. It’s time for you to accept that fact. The beauty is that you’re not alone. Everyone else on this planet is in the same boat. If our ships are sinking on this issue, we’re sinking together.

Remember, just because you’re a work in progress doesn’t mean that you’re not good enough. It simply highlights that you’re still trying to improve and that you have more to learn. If you aren’t a work in progress at this point, I feel truly sorry for you. You’re missing out.

Overall, my point here is to stop complicating things because you feel you’re not good enough. You certainly are good enough. So, stop hating on yourself for not being perfect.

2. Live Honestly

You have no idea how many people I see overcomplicate their lives because they choose to live immorally. Not only does this make them look bad but they feel bad about themselves as well.

When you lie, cheat, and steal to get ahead or benefit yourself in some other way, you complicate things for yourself. You’re always worrying about whether or not you’re going to get caught or whether or not it’s all going to catch up to you—as you should be!

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So, stop living this way. Live morally. Be kind to others and live an honest life. Stop complicating life by being a bad person. Just keep things simple by doing the things that you know are right at your heart and at your core.

3. Communicate Clearly

This is probably one of the most significant ways to remove some of your life’s complexity. Too many people cause problems for themselves simply because they don’t know how to communicate effectively.

They say things they don’t mean or mean things they don’t say, and this creates problems. Nobody is a mind reader, so if what we say isn’t clear, it’s likely going to be misinterpreted and that’s going to cause problems down the line!

If you practice good and clear communication regularly, you’ll notice just how much this impacts your life and the problems that it helps you avoid. Don’t underestimate this crucial skill and just how much it influences your daily life.

4. Stop Being Too Materialistic

Yikes, this is a big one. Far too many of us are driven by the script that society forces on us telling us that we need more of everything.

Quantity is never going to be all that it’s hyped up to be. Quality is always going to be better than quantity. So, instead of trying to hoard everything, seek out quality in the things that you seek to possess—whether that’s materials, friendships, or experiences doesn’t truly matter.

Stop trying to spend money that you don’t have to impress people that you don’t even care about impressing.

Wealth isn’t obtained through material possessions, so manage it wisely. Simply trying to reduce your craving for material possessions will go a long towards reducing the complexity of your lifestyle.

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5. Don’t Waste Time Changing People

If you want to make your life more complex than it’s ever been, start spending your time trying to change and control the people around you. I guarantee they will not appreciate your efforts and will eventually cause you to dislike your own life.

So, stop complicating life by beginning to just accept people for the way that they are. Save yourself the trouble of trying to change and control people who don’t want you to influence them in this way.

Just appreciate them for who they are and if you can’t do that, then maybe it’s time to consider whether or not you should be spending your time with someone else.

6. Reduce Exposure to Toxic People

You truly are the average of the people that you decide to surround yourself with. That’s why it’s important to continually be auditing your social circle.

If you have the choice, spend more time with people who are smart, mature, driven, and kind and less time with the people who are the opposite. This is because one group is going to pull you and your development forward, whereas the other group will hold you back.

That’s not to say you have to avoid these people entirely, you just have to reduce your exposure to them.

Life is quick and if you spend in with the wrong people, you risk ending up with some serious regrets. Additionally, if these people have toxic tendencies, chances are some of the problems in your life stem from them rather than from yourself.

Trust me, you don’t need their help in making your life more difficult or challenging.

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7. Stop Procrastinating Everything

Look, we both know that you do this. We all do it from time to time. But procrastination is one of the biggest stressors that we impose onto ourselves in our lives. And we do it willingly. Why? There’s no good reason for this added stress.

We know that we have to get something done, yet we continually leave it until the last minute. This unnecessarily complicates our lives. So, do whatever it is that you need to do to eliminate procrastination from your life as much as possible.

Make to-do lists, make a schedule, and set deadlines for yourself that are well ahead of when something needs to be completed by. Do whatever you need to do to get things done early.

This way will help you to stop complicating life and get on top of things. And when you’ve finally got everything together, you’ll feel more in control of your life and this will help you to live more fully.

8. Learn How to Say No

Look, you can’t do everything for everyone. If you try to say yes to everyone, you’re going to end up disappointing more people than you please, and you’ll complicate your life in the process.

It’s a lose-lose scenario. You don’t need that in your life.

Ironically, learning how to say no to some people sometimes is going to help you in multiple ways.

First, it’s going to allow you to focus on the people and opportunities that you truly want to spend time on. That will help you to be happier over an average day simply because you’re doing the things that you want to do.

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Second, it’s going to allow you to be more present with those people and opportunities. That will allow you to bring your full self to each situation so you can have the biggest positive impact possible.

So, do yourself a massive favor and stop making all those promises that you either can’t or don’t want to keep. Overcommitting yourself will result in you spreading yourself too thin and that will make you miserable.

9. Focus More on Things You Can Control

Look, life is crazy sometimes. I get it. We all have that craving to control things because it makes us feel better about all that chaos.

However, you could try your entire life and still come nowhere close to controlling all of it. That’s why it’s better to simply begin figuring out what things you can and can’t control. Once you’ve done that you can begin focusing on what you can control.

By focusing your energy on the things you can control, you spare yourself from wasted time and energy trying to control things you have no influence over. Not only will that reduce your stress but it will also be good for your mental health in the long-run.

This is a great way to stop complicating life and begin progressing in the right direction because your energy becomes fixated on the areas that matter.

Final Thoughts

This list is by no means exhaustive. There are countless other ways that you could also stop complicating life to live more fully. These are just some common suggestions that people find useful.

So, pick and choose which of these might make sense to your life. Figure out which ones are going to help you make progress towards reducing stress and complexity.

You work hard. You owe it to yourself to also live fully.

More Tips on How to Stop Complicating Life

Featured photo credit: Maksym Kaharlytskyi via unsplash.com

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Mark Lynch

Featured Life-Balance, & Personal Development Author

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Last Updated on January 14, 2021

13 Ways to Seize the Moment and Enjoy Life More

13 Ways to Seize the Moment and Enjoy Life More

A life filled with joy is the one thing everyone wishes for. There are countless ways to reach for what you want, but when it comes to happiness, little things make all the difference. You have no idea how the simple joys of life can skyrocket your mood levels. But since you are here, you will find these 13 ways easy to practice, easy to apply in your own life and actionable in order to enjoy your life more.

By using these methods, short moments of bliss will compound over time in huge amounts of happiness. The smallest changes recommended in this article, practiced as a way of life, will make you stand out from the overworked, overbooked, and somehow bored crowd that seems to fill every street and every room nowadays. Focus on what matters and everything else will just fall into place.

Make sure you take the time to read all 13 tips and tricks to seize the moments. Even if you only take what resonates with you – based on your personality and bigger life purposes – you can still highly improve your life starting today.

1. Say Yes and Say No

Both are equally important.

First, saying ”yes” more often can expose you to tremendous new experiences. You can think big – like finally taking that trip, or more local – like going to an improv show. Both are equally effective in transporting yourself to new states of mind.

The other side of the always saying ”yes” coin tells a different story. You know what I’m talking about. The one that Jim Carrey got himself into in the movie ”Yes Man”. While at first saying ”yes” transformed his life in this wonderful adventure, by the end of the film, he couldn’t take it anymore. It was too much.

This is when ”no” comes to stage. In order to be able to say ”yes” to the things you want, you must also be comfortable saying ”no” to anything and everything else. Here I include: that informal get together, that wedding, that deadline no one asked if you can make it, that shopping list and so on. You know better than I do what I am talking about and I bet you can already think of a few examples.

Need help in saying no? Leo Babauta has this advice: The Gentle Art of Saying No

2. Take Care of Yourself

There is a reason why we are instructed to put our oxygen masks first in case of an emergency. If we don’t, we can’t function. If we’re not able to function, we cannot help others. During a normal week, helping others can translate to doing your job or going on with your day.

This tip goes even further. Think about it. When you take care of yourself, you feel good. You feel good about yourself and about the day ahead. You feel like you can take on any challenge that might come your way.

Try to look like you care about yourself.

The quote above is from a 90s TV show. Just start there. Clean yourself up, put fresh clothing on, comb your hair and that’s it. You are ready to face the world.

Do this every day and you’ll be ready for anything at anytime.

Try to recall a day when you didn’t shower, didn’t change clothes and your big plan was to stay in, watch TV and indulge in some junk food. The only problem was that you needed something from the store, so you left the house looking like a mess, secretly hoping you won’t bump into anyone you know. But you did.

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What happened then? You tried to hide behind the shelves. When that failed, you felt uncomfortable even making eye contact and you tried to shorten the conversation as much as possible, so you could return back to the cave as fast as possible.

Now imagine the exact same interaction with you looking nice and smelling like someone who cares about themselves. Much better, right?

If you need more advice on how to take better care of yourself, here it is: 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit

3. Make a Bucket List

You’ve seen the movie (the Bucket List, if it wasn’t clear!) You know what happens. Two elderly, facing death, decide to cooperate on one last special adventure.

Now tell me: Why is it that only when we’re in front of something terrible do we realize how finite our life is?

Why, when making plans, are we always thinking ”some day”?

Why is the future always better for our most desires and the present is only good for our day-to-day tasks and responsibilities? You know: mopping the floor, grocery shopping, doing laundry.

If you never wrote a Bucket List, don’t freak out. It doesn’t have to be filled only with life changing dangerous experiences or expensive stuff. Start small instead.

Make a Summer Bucket List: wine in the park, that free outdoor concert. Write a Winter Bucket List: go on a sleigh ride, build a snowman.

The idea behind this tip is to write it down. Read it every day and seize the opportunity when an item can be checked off the list. At the end, you’ll find yourself smiling every time you do it. And that’s how you turn your mundane day-to-day life to something that’s exciting and outgoing.

4. Find a Form of Exercising That You Enjoy

One of the best ways to seize the moment and to enjoy your life more? Exercise!

Now, I’m sure you’ve already read this tip before, probably a gazillion times. But you have to know that it’s simply true. I’ve met so many people who have turned their life around by finding a form of exercising they enjoy. I’m a pretty good example myself as well!

Finding a form of exercising that I like (running) has transformed my life. It has helped me cope with stress, anxiety and boredom more often than I can remember. It is both an outlet and a source of fulfillment for me, and I can’t imagine my life without it.

And I’m not even that good of a runner! I’d call myself a passionate hobbyist. I don’t really care about racing and being the fastest, because I’m obviously not able to compete on that level. I mean, I have a friend who runs 15K in under an hour and I still find it hard to believe that such speeds are possible. I run purely because it allows me to do one of the following:

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  • Feel good about myself
  • Challenge my body
  • Meditate
  • To blow off steam when stressed
  • To burn calories (I would probably be obese if I didn’t run, considering the amount of food I consume)

So whenever I have a busy day at work, I go for a run afterwards and feel great.

Feeling bored? I go for a run and feel energized again! Feeling energized and want to feel good about myself? I go for a run!

Simply put, running always has a positive effect on my happiness. That’s why exercising is ALWAYS featured in guides on how to be happy![1]

Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

5. Go off Your Usual Path

There is nothing more simple than this.

Think about changing your route to work and back home from time to time. Think about trying that food on the menu you don’t even know what it is. Think about getting that new soda flavor. Think about listening to people you usually dodge.

Everyone has a story to tell and most have mind-blowing ones to share. You can learn something new from every person you meet and every single new experience you try. Be prepared that sometimes the lessons come in the form of a ”no-no” example.

6. Spend Time Outside

You heard this one before. I know.

But let’s try another exercise. Think about your life from the last months. I will share with you mine, so I won’t make any assumptions. I mostly work from home. Sometimes I have meetings with others, usually at their office. My parents live in an apartment, so are my friends. I shop at the mall, because I find everything I need in one place. During the summer, the days are so hot where I live that I can not stand the heat, so I avoid it. During the winter, the city is mostly grey than white, and unbelievably cold.

What do you think these items have in common? The fact that my normal days are spent mostly inside. Even if I go to the theatre or to concerts, most are organized under a roof.

All of us who live in the city are lacking sun exposure, some fresh air and the peace that comes with it. Just make sure your days include some down time in the sun.

If you say it can’t be done because of your busy schedule, try walking more from one building to the other. Or just going outside while taking those short breaks from work.

Little moments like these count and they add up in the long run. Don’t overlook them and don’t underestimate their power.

7. Whatever You Do, Don’t Plan Every Minute

Yes, I understand. We all have so much to do. We’re always feeling like we’re running a marathon, sometimes like we’re in the army. But we are not. And we don’t have to be.

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Let life happen a little bit.

If you are reading this, chances are that you have at least some control over your schedule. Don’t book every minute with activities. Leave time for leisure, for spontaneity. Your brain will thank you for this. Your energy levels too. And even your moods.

This way, you also make room for the unexpected. For being able to say ”yes” to that impromptu invitation to see a street performance, to enjoy a picnic or simply a walk in the park or a coffee date.

8. Ditch the Digital

Hear me out. I’m not saying to go completely off-grid. I do benefit from the advantages technology has to offer too. But I keep it under control.

The studies are clear on this. The World Happiness Report that comes out every year backs it up. People spend more time online than interacting in person with each other, which has unprecedented negative side effects on our happiness levels[2]

The logic is simple. If you want to keep your happiness level up or to give it a boost, all you have to do is go old-school. Pay someone a visit. Read a magazine. Instead of watching a movie at home, look for an art exhibition. Possibilities are endless once you focus on the little things.

Try these 5 Simple Ways to Unplug and Be More Mindful In Your Life.

9. Ditch the Map, the Clock and the Reviews

Just go. Aziz Ansari did a stand-up where he pointed out to the fact that recently we all feel complied to make the best possible decision every time. Even if it’s all about buying a toothbrush.

I know this applies to you too. When leaving for a vacation, I bet you already had an itinerary planned for every day of your stay. Right? If not, my apologies. But if that’s you all the time, I will make a bold recommendation.

Ditch the map of the city. Don’t read the reviews for the restaurant, just sit down at a table and order. Don’t look at your watch, do what you feel like, be it 2 in the morning or afternoon.

10. Learn Something New Continuously

Don’t get comfortable in your ways. ”You don’t know where the rabbit is jumping from” is a saying in my country, referring to the fact that we don’t know where or when the next opportunity will show itself.

If you always wanted to cook better, but don’t have the time, the energy, or the skill to organize yourself to do so, look for a cooking class. You don’t know where the rabbit is jumping from and maybe you’ll meet someone who will change your life.

Don’t wait for others to do things. I know we all wish to do things with our friends, but sometimes they don’t share the same interests. Don’t let that stop you. And remember, there’s no better time like the present, no perfect time in the future.

You’ll thank yourself and you’ll have some good stories to tell next time you chat with someone new in one of your adventures.

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Some inspirations for you: How to Learn Something New Every Day and Stay Smart

11. Reward Yourself

This is for you and for you only.

Reward yourself for every little thing you do the way you want. You had a good work day when everything you planned was done? Buy yourself an ice cream.

Rewards have double powers. First, the more obvious one – you give yourself a moment, be it in the form of an ice cream, a new pair of shoes you had your eyes on, or movie tickets.

The second power of a reward is that it acts as a motivation.

Everything on this list is connected. You try something new, you meet someone new. You don’t wait, you make it happen. You challenge yourself, you reward yourself.

12. Volunteer

The correlation between volunteering and happiness is undisputable. The World Happiness Report says that even just giving time to others increases one’s whole well-being.[3] Prosocial behaviour, like volunteering, is a double edged sword.

First, it makes you feel better which will make you act in the same positive way in the future; and second, it spreads happiness to someone else.

You can volunteer to do thousands of activities, but remember, we’re talking about the smallest possible actions you can take to boost your joy. Think about holding the door, giving flowers, paying compliments, smiling, returning a lost item. These small things all do wonders when trying to spread other people’s happiness, and paradoxically, this also increases our own happiness.

13. Sleep

Now, this sounds a bit counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? Yes and no. The same principle from using the oxygen mask first applies.

There are countless studies that state the same thing. Without getting enough sleep, we are more prone to errors, we fail to retrieve memories or to finish a basic task, even thoughts. The amount one needs differs from one person to another.

I need an average of 8+ hours. I stopped trying to change and feeling guilty about it, I just work my life around the fact that I sleep more than most. Otherwise, I don’t function at full capacity and it keeps me from enjoying the hours when I’m awake.

Why do that?

The Bottom Line

Being happy is a state of mind that can easily be influenced by the smallest actions we take every day. Make a commitment to yourself, cover the basics, set some principles – easy to follow, and breathe. What you need to remember is that you have to make your life work for you. As long as you know what you value, you’ll know what to do to seize the day and enjoy life more.

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Featured photo credit: Donald Giannatti via unsplash.com

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